Editor’s Note: This post was started a year ago, but never completed. I am posting this in late 2015, but this adventure took place in late 2014.
Here on the West Coast, we have wet (not white) Christmases. We spend most of our Winters sporting gum boots and rain jackets, not UGG’s and parkas. Our accessory of choice is the umbrella, not the shovel. This is our norm.
So when I was invited to spend Christmas in the Great White Northern BC town of Quesnel, I couldn’t pass it up! And the thing to do in the Great White Northern BC town of Quesnel is ski. And ski we did!
My boyfriend Eric and his father Herb took me through the Cariboo backcountry to Murray Cabin.
The Yellowtail trailhead is located about an hour or so South of Quesnel. I was asked by a local to keep the location of the trailhead and the cabin relatively secret.
The trail begins from the parking lot, zig-zagging over a creek for a few kilometres, and then eventually up a hill for a few more through the forest. This is a slow, but beautiful beginning to get you warmed up.
At the top of the hill, at about the 4km mark, we come an opening. This opening is thanks to a few eager beavers who built a dam at the edge at the opening. We skin over the dam that is buried deep under the snow. I’m not sure if the beavers still leave there.
Past the opening, we continue slowly upwards and around the edge of another hill. After one final opening, at about the 6km mark, we eventually make it to the Murray Cabin.
We stop at the Murray Cabin for a short snack, to drop off our overnight gear, then head out again for a few runs on the north facing hillside.
There is a beautiful hillside a short skin away from the cabin. We skinned up and skied down a few times before we called it a day.
That night, Eric made a goulash. Herb and I were too impatient to wait the several hours for the goulash to stew. We played cards, drank wine, read, ate, and then called it a night.
There were several mattresses upstairs and two downstairs. Plenty of room for group overnight backcountry trips.
The next day, we hiked up the hillside to do a few more up-and-downs the hill before going back to down to the truck.
I think the locals call the hillside “the lump” or “the bump”, but I’m not sure. I gives a beautiful North to the Cariboo Mountains.
After one or two skin-ups and ski-downs, we decided to head back down to the truck.
On our way down, finding the creek crossings proved difficult. The two experts in the group, Eric and his dad Herb, fell into the creek. I was quite proud to not be the victim in this incident.
If you’re in or around Quesnel and want to experience the Cariboo backcountry, I suggest checking out the Cariboo Ski Touring Club.
Thank you Herb and Eric for taking me on this adventure!